Former Dragons’ Den star Doug Richard cleared of child sex charges
- Credit: PA
A former Dragons’ Den star who engaged in 50 Shades of Grey role play with an under-age girl has been cleared of child sex charges.
Doug Richard, 57, exchanged “sexy chat” with the 13-year-old after meeting her on a ‘sugar daddy’ website and went on to act out his fantasies when she travelled from her home in Norwich to meet him.
But the American millionaire, who once advised Prime Minister David Cameron, told jurors that at the time he believed she was an experienced 17-year-old and insisted he would never “knowingly” have sex with a child.
The court heard he gave the girl and a friend who accompanied her £60 each in cash, which Richard insisted was a “gift” and not payment.
A jury of eight women and four men deliberated for four hours and 15 minutes before finding Richard, of Islington, north London, not guilty of three counts of sexual activity with a child, one of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and a charge of paying for sexual services.
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Richard was emotional as the verdicts were delivered and left the court in tears.
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